In order for the Dallas Mavericks to do well in the 2013-14 NBA season, they must think on their toes on the court and on the sideline. This means that they must take immediate action on any issues that arise. So far, correcting mistakes before they repeat has worked in their favor.
One month ago after Media Day, when the Mavs started training camp, head coach Rick Carlisle focused their very first practice on defense. Then when they lost to the New Orleans Pelicans in their preseason home opener, they ended regulation with a terrible 28 turnovers. This was a rude awakening that their team full of newbies and rookies had to address.
Fortunately for Dallas, their turnovers have not reached an upsetting high ever since, and their preseason win-loss record was .500 just like their 2012-13 season in which they struggled to break even. The main difference is that they played over 10 times the number of games in a six-month span.
If you may recall, the Mavericks even had a beard pact in which some players would not shave their chin hair until they evened out their victories and defeats. Power forward Dirk Nowitzki and guard/forward Vince Carter were in on this, and sometimes I could not tell their facial expressions with their goatees.
Now without those soul patches, these world-class players still have soul that will rock the hardwood. If they continue to take this head-on approach of addressing concerns instantly instead of letting problems persist, then they likely will be dominant in the Southwest Division and hopefully the Western Conference this season.
It is imperative that the Mavs bring on their “A” game this way. After all, many have expressed their desire to reach the NBA Finals. Nowitzki and small forward Shawn Marion have already seen, touched and even kissed the Larry O’Brien trophy for themselves. Marion hyped up the American Airlines Center in Dallas’ home opener against the Atlanta Hawks.
Carter already has shown his pursuit of the title, both in his own training and impeccable floor performances that makes him the top Sixth Man. New starting point guard Monta Ellis also is on board to make it happen, which was evident in his stellar and commendable efforts on Opening Night.
On Saturday night when Dallas hosted the Memphis Grizzlies, the Mavericks’ deficit meant Nowitzki was needed, so Carlisle’s decision to play him in the fourth quarter was definitely on point to help lead to their win. I am counting on Dirk with his teammates in my Nowellis dynamic duo and my Tipoff Trio to follow through.